Hebrews 12:18-19,21-24

18 For you have not come to what may be touched, a blazing fire, and darkness, and gloom, and a tempest, 19 and the sound of a trumpet, and a voice whose words made the hearers entreat that no further messages be spoken to them. 21 Indeed, so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, “I tremble with fear.” 22 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, 23 and to the assembly of the first-born who are enrolled in heaven, and to a judge who is God of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, 24 and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks more graciously than the blood of Abel. 

Mark 6:7-13

7 And he called to him the twelve, and began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits. 8 He charged them to take nothing for their journey except a staff; no bread, no bag, no money in their belts; 9 but to wear sandals and not put on two tunics. 10 And he said to them, “Where you enter a house, stay there until you leave the place. 11 And if any place will not receive you and they refuse to hear you, when you leave, shake off the dust that is on your feet for a testimony against them.” 12 So they went out and preached that men should repent. 13 And they cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many that were sick and healed them.

THE FIRST READING juxtapose the fearful encounter Moses had with Yahweh on Mount Horeb where a fire drew his attention. Ex 3ff Soon afterwards Moses experienced our Lord’s wrath with a raging fire from Mount Sinai.Ex 19:18 Later on at Mount Sinai God gave Moses the written law and the authority to teach and lead the people to the promised land.Ex 24:12

Conversely Mount Zion is a city where all God’s people are called to. Zion refers to a fortress in Jerusalem that at some point was called the City of David. Mount Zion is also the place where God chose to manifest Himself and introduce a New Covenant by offering His flesh and blood. Finally, Jerusalem is also known as a ‘House of Bread’ that aliven us to the Eucharistic image that is ordered to make perfect the people of God through the forgiveness of venial sins. Jerusalem is the place where God is present in the image of His Son Jesus Christ.

St MARK turns from our Lord’s perplexed encounter with His kinsmen and takes us to Jesus calling the twelve apostles and instructing them to go on a mission of evangelization. We notice that the twelve were given ‘authority over unclean spirits.’ Whilst we are aware that our Lord’s words possess divine power, the transfer of “authority” always takes the form of a ritual, where words and actions combine in a public setting with witnesses to give credence and efficacy to the installation of the intended office bearers.

This act of our Lord implies that no person can claim to possess authority to teach, preach or heal without these charisms having been given them from someone in authority who came before! Today’s Gospel reading illustrates the priesthood as lived out in the Catholic Church today. We the laity must provide for our priests-in the person of Christ- who “left everything” (Mt 19:27) to follow Christ and minister His people: to feed us with heavenly bread; heal us from our afflictions through the anointing with consecrated oil; forgive our sins and teach us to be a perfect people and expel evil spirits. May we appropriate these gifts of grace and mercy that was handed down by Christ Jesus to His Church.

LET US PRAY: Psalms 48:2-4,0-11

2 beautiful in elevation, is the joy of all the earth, Mount Zion, in the far north, the city of the great King. 

3 Within her citadels God has shown himself a sure defense. 

4 For lo, the kings assembled, they came on together. 9 We have thought on thy steadfast love, O God, in the midst of thy temple. 10 As thy name, O God, so thy praise reaches to the ends of the earth. Thy right hand is filled with victory; 

11 let Mount Zion be glad! Let the daughters of Judah rejoice because of thy judgments! 

Catholic Witness Apostolate             catholicwitnessct@gmail.com    Henry R SYLVESTER              

Note: The daily scripture readings are taken from the Roman Missal which the Catholic Church use in the daily Celebration of the Holy Eucharist throughout the world.Some weekly readings may differ because of the celebration of local feast days of saints around the

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